United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
ORDER SCREENING COMPLAINT, GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S
MOTION FOR LEAVE TO PROCEED WITHOUT PREPAYING FILING FEE
(DKT. NO. 2) AND STAYING (ADMINISTRATIVELY CLOSING) CASE
PENDING RESOLUTION OF APPEAL IN SEVENTH CIRCUIT CASE NO.
PAMELA PEPPER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
plaintiff, a federal prisoner incarcerated at the Butner
Federal Medical Center, is representing himself. He filed a
complaint alleging that the defendants violated his civil
rights. Dkt. No. 1. This decision resolves the
plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed without prepaying
the filing fee, dkt. no. 2, and stays his case pending
resolution of his appeal in another case, Clark v. United
States, No. 18-1615 (7th Cir. filed March 19, 2018).
Motion for Leave to Proceed without Prepaying the Filing Fee
(Dkt. No. 2)
Prison Litigation Reform Act applies to this case because the
plaintiff was incarcerated when he filed his complaint. 28
U.S.C. §1915. That law allows a court to give an
incarcerated plaintiff the ability to proceed with his case
without prepaying the civil case filing fee if he meets
certain conditions. One of those conditions is that the
plaintiff pay an initial partial filing fee. 28 U.S.C.
§1915(b). Once the plaintiff pays the initial partial
filing fee, the court may allow the plaintiff to pay the
balance of the $350 filing fee over time, through deductions
from his prisoner account. Id.
18, 2018, the court ordered the plaintiff to pay an initial
partial filing fee of $23.29. Dkt. No. 10. The court received
that fee on June 15, 2018. The court will grant the
plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed without
prepayment of the filing fee, and will allow him to pay the
remaining balance of the filing fee over time in the manner
explained at the end of this order.
Screening the Plaintiff's Complaint
Federal Screening Standard
requires the court to screen complaints brought by prisoners
seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or
employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. §1915A(a).
The court must dismiss a complaint if the plaintiff raises
claims that are legally “frivolous or malicious,
” that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, or that seek monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §1915A(b).
state a claim, a complaint must contain sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, “that is plausible on its
face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “A claim has facial plausibility
when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows a court
to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Id. (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).
The Plaintiff's Allegations
plaintiff has sued J. Phil Gilbert, a United States District
Judge for the Southern District of Illinois. Dkt. No. 1 at 2.
He also has sued “Unknown Named Officers of the
Court.” Id. at 1.
plaintiff alleges that Judge Gilbert acted “beyond the
limits of 28 U.S.C. §§ 291, et seq., to deprive the
plaintiff of his federal rights.” Dkt. No. 1 at 3. He
alleges that Judge Gilbert is not a resident judge of the
Eastern District of Wisconsin and does not have the authority
to exercise “such jurisdiction unless expressly
conferred and limited by 28 U.S.C. §§ 291, et
seq.” Dkt. No. 1 at 3.
plaintiff alleges that, under 28 U.S.C. §291, et
seq., Judge Gilbert was temporarily designated to the
Eastern District of Wisconsin for the limited purpose of
conducting the trial on case number 11-CR-30, and that the
temporary designation expired at the end of the trial. Dkt.
No. 1 at 3-4. The plaintiff states that after the expiration
of the temporary designation, and after Judge Gilbert
returned to his home district in Illinois, the plaintiff
filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus under
28 U.S.C. §2255 in the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
Id. at 4. The plaintiff contends that even though
the chief judge of the circuit did not issue a second
designation under §291 for Judge Gilbert to preside over
the habeas petition, defendants Unknown Named
Officers of the Court transferred and forwarded the
habeas petition to Judge Gilbert in the Southern
District of Illinois. Id. The plaintiff states that
while sitting in his home district in Illinois, and without
the issuance of a second designation under §291, Judge
Gilbert presided over and rendered judgment on the
habeas petition that the plaintiff filed in the
Eastern District of Wisconsin. Id.
plaintiff claims that defendants Unknown Officers of the
Court denied his due process rights in violation of the Fifth
Amendment when they caused the habeas petition to be
heard in a “foreign court, ” contrary to the
terms of 28 U.S.C. §2255, and thus without authority.
Id. He also claims that defendants Unknown Officers
of the Court caused the habeas petition to be
considered by an individual who “was not authorized to
act on behalf of the Sovereign, ” which constituted ...